Mario Balotelli has managed to enrage Roberto Mancini yet again, this time by smoking in the dressing room.
After a fairly quiet few weeks, our favourite Italian striker Mario Balotelli is back in form. Off-the-field antics form that is. Earlier this week he gate-crashed the press conference to announce the new Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni and now he has managed to get into the bad books of Roberto Mancini by sparking up in the dressing room after the recent win over Chelsea.
It’s not news that Mario like the odd sneaky puff. Back in December, Mancini spoke about it at a press conference.
"For me it is not OK but I am not his father," he said. "If he were my son, I would give him a kick up the arse but he is not my son. I have told him it is better that he doesn't smoke because I am always against cigarettes and that's why my son doesn't smoke. There are players in Italy who smoke and some over here but I don't think he smokes a lot – maybe five or six a day."
Well that relaxed attitude seems to be gone. Mario and Mancini had a bust-up at training yesterday and according to reports, it was linked to the news that Mancini has found out that Mario enjoys a smoke in the shower room after each game. After being subbed off at half-time against Chelsea he was spotted and considering how little running around Mario did in that game, he hardly deserved a post-match puff.
It also seems that Mario is one of those smokers who never has his own, often begging backroom staff for a cigarette according to the papers. We’re pretty sure Mario could afford his own pack, considering his wages but speaking as Irish fans, we would rather he keeps up his filthy habit until after the Euros.
And the next time he fancies a smoke, maybe he should sneak out the back of Old Trafford and hang out with Manchester’s other famous footballing smoker, Dimitar Berbatov.